After having Elena commit the one act she was dreading the most given her newfound vampirism in last week’s episode, personally anyway, the series delivered on the consequences for her actions. Tonight’s outing, “We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes,” was perhaps everything I thought the episode could be.
That said, if I had my way, Elena’s spiral towards darkness would not have stopped at which brother she wants to hook up with. That’s all fine and dandy (if you care about that stuff, otherwise it’s like just stop) but at this point not even Damon is dark enough for his character to be okay with the depth that this storyline can bring to Elena’s character and the series overall. I mean just imagine it. And I don’t mean imagine Elena saying how she’s transitioned like the writers had to make her do bluntly tonight, I mean just think about how it can broaden the show immensely. Just tonight, Elena standing in front of the bridge, willingly ready to kill herself because she’s become a “monster”[*] is precisely the sort of emotionally high caliber material we could be getting on a regular basis. And that’s just the shallow end of it.
[*] For the most part it’s hard to imagine Elena being so horrified that she killed someone who was a huge threat to her. Or that she cares what Katherine thinks. But when her mom finally showed up, the point was driven home. Up until then, however, I was a bit bored at watching Elena being bothered by people who aren’t close to her. The good news about Katherine is that she is very pithy, so at least it let Elena hear things she never wanted to.
Elena has sort of, very peculiarly, been okay with dying since forever. It’s been a weird juxtaposition to the girl who’s always wanted to live until she was old but thought the traditional life wasn’t pleasant enough to share with Matt. But for the most part, this is a character that isn’t all that afraid of dying. She would do it in a heartbeat for the greater good, or at least she claims so. And every single time she concocts a plan it usually involves her death in some way. Just last week she went on a suicide mission. Last season when she was trying to tame Evilaric, she held a knife up to her neck. She’s frequently harmed herself as a distraction. Basically, she is one cray chick with a death wish. And if you saw it that way tonight, it’s easy to understand why you may have been sort of over the whole Woe is Me thing. If you think about it: nothing has really changed. So let’s say Elena’s hallucinations are her own and not Connor magically entering her subconscious somehow, then that would still very well mean that Elena truthfully thinks the world is better without her in it.
I’m not saying the series is just going to use it to prop up the love triangle, even though it’s going in that direction now. I’m just saying that I hope they do use it more to deal with the intricacies in our leading lady’s psyche. And frankly, Stefan nor Damon are equipped to handle Elena going off the rails in that way. And they certainly wouldn’t be okay with it — who would? I’ll say it once more and then I’ll stop: I’m talking full-on self-loathingness can happen on The Vampire Diaries right now, sort of True Blood Bill style! I want Elena to melt into a pond of her own blood and rise like a Phoenix covered in blood as a monster.
Or something like that. (For the record, I’m definitely okay with Stefan and Elena breaking up. It’s been painfully obvious for the past five episodes who Elena feels closer to as a vampire and it’s definitely something we all called back in the season finale. Damon is closer to the darker spectrum; at least for now. But, y’know, still… THE FEELS.)
On the other half of the show, we have Bonnie still being asked to be a plot device and her deus ex machina of a teacher/romance/perhaps statutory rapist? (Wait is Bonnie 18 yet?) I’m just saying, he can hypnotize her to take off articles of her clothing, that’s sort of scary. Anyway… this is actually everything that I want. I can see it on the horizon. It’s coming! Jeremy, Bonnie, and Teacher (sorry, I’m really bad with names; y’all will forgive me right?) are at the beginning stages of forming a bond that’s on the opposite sides of all their vampire friends. I am in love with the idea here. I know that it’s sort of like Bonnie falling into a hole here, because she is trusting Teacher to a fault, but at the same time… why even perceive Teacher as a bad guy? I think the problem truly starts at the show’s inability to allow the audience to ride the fence with its characters. If anyone comes in and tries to put down these people who are bloodthirsty murderers, then they’re “villains.” What? This could be the storyline that puts that stupid notion to rest.
Meanwhile, tensions are growing between Tyler and Caroline. This was also sort of a recurring theme during tonight’s episode where fake-Katherine basically aired all of Elena’s insecurities about being saved by everyone. She was all, “Um people die because of you; you are the worst, you know that right?” And it happened again tonight with our Random Hybrid of the Episode (RHOTE, this is a thing that we’re going to be discussing from now on. If you read my Buffy recaps you’ll remember FOTE, now it’s RHOTEs). Tonight’s episode features Chris, who was obviously going to die. And he does. As it so happens Tyler isn’t okay with one of his friends dying just to save Elena’s ass because that kind of shit happens like all the time in Mystic Falls. The only thing that scene was really missing was more anger towards everyone instead of at just Caroline for going out on a date with Klaus. It would have allowed at least someone to actually be just a bit upset at Elena being everyone’s first priority in a way characters haven’t been allowed to do in the past.
Overall, I see a lot of potential with how this episode could catapult into an entire different beast for the show. But I don’t want to remain too hopeful. I’ve been burned before.
- Kind of a shame the show lost two POCs in one episode.
- I don’t care that she was a hallucination, fake-Katherine makes me want real Katherine like yesterday. Can we just please get her back?
- RIP RHOTE Chris.
- I thought Damon would have told Elena that the reason she stopped hallucinating was because of her brother during that scene but nope he confessed about The Cure. By the way, why was this a secret ever? Also, why does everyone just want it to cure Elena.
- In this episode, Stefan believes that Elena is “strong” enough to withstand the hallucinations, but I felt that was a little off given how much he’s been trying to protect her from herself this entire season.
- Holy Aussie accent, Tonkin!